How to be a Good Mastermind Member

Think being a mastermind group member is easy? Just ask member Chris Everson.

“I thought that all I had to do was offer advice and sit back and relax. I almost got fired from my group!”

There’s a heightened sense of responsibility that comes from being a mastermind group member. Mastermind groups succeed or fail based on everyone’s two-way involvement: both in asking for help and giving help. If you don’t have balance in those two areas, you’re not an asset to the group.

Here are six tips to being a super mastermind group member:

  1. Tell your group members what you need from the group that day. Do you just need to be heard or do you need them to brainstorm 30 new ideas with you? Do you need to be held accountable for getting things done or do you need a pat on the back for your successes?
  2. Don’t hog the limelight. Even if you’re in the Hot Seat, a mastermind group is about everyone getting a chance to share and connect. Try to speak in short paragraphs: get to the crux of the comment or question as quickly as possible, but don’t leave out any crucial information that will affect the conversation.
  3. Write your Prep Form the day before the meeting so that you’ve thought through the big questions in advance. Don’t prepare for the meeting 10 minutes before it starts and expect amazing results.
  4. Ask questions. If something doesn’t make sense, if a comment from a mastermind group member doesn’t align with their stated goals and values, if you feel there’s more under the surface: ask about it.
  5. Listen and take notes. Whether you are in the Hot Seat or someone else is, listening carefully in a focused way to what’s being said (and what’s not being said) will give you 100 times more information than just staring off into space. Taking notes helps you keep focused on the discussion at hand, and gives you a place to jot down your own ideas until it’s your turn to speak — you know how easy it is to have a brilliant idea just fly out of your head the moment you’re trying to remember it!
  6. Learn how to give constructive feedback. Never attack the person — attack the idea. Be robust in your thinking; don’t let people skate by with flimsy ideas or poorly thought-out action plans. Challenge each other to fulfill their potential and create success in their business and personal lives.

Yes, the success of a mastermind group depends on the quality of the mastermind group facilitator. But more importantly the success of your group depends on your willingness to devote yourself to your own success and the success of others.

Facilitating Introverts and Extroverts in a Group

We all know there are two personality styles that are polar opposites of each others, right?

I wish it were that simple.

Introversion and extroversion are on a line, a continuum. Sometimes people will be strongly to one side or the other on that continuum, but often people exhibit mixed tendencies, especially in a group setting where there is rapport and trust. For example, an introvert might be shy around new people, but very gregarious around his mastermind group where he’s been brainstorming for six months.

So let’s define what we mean by these terms:

An introvert gets energy by being alone, and expends energy when in a group setting, like a mastermind group. Being an introvert doesn’t mean a person is shy; it means he needs quiet time alone to process the outcome of the mastermind group meetings and recharge his batteries before he wants to get back into the group mode again.

An extrovert gains energy when she is out in the world, especially brainstorming with a group of people. She’s excited to share ideas and to process her thoughts verbally in the group. Sometimes she gets her best ideas and come up with her own solutions while talking through a problem with other people.

How do you facilitate a mastermind group that includes both types?

An introvert needs quiet time, even a minute or two, to collect his thoughts and reactions to a given problem or situation. Giving the entire group a few minutes to write down their ideas on their own, before sharing, can give the introvert the space he needs to process.

On the other hand, the extrovert needs time to talk out loud, to process her thoughts while she’s actively communicating with others. Knowing this, you can allow the extrovert a few minutes more during her Hot Seat to explain her situation: she just might find clarity or even solve her problem herself, simply by talking openly about it.

Between meetings, give each of these types a way to communicate with the entire group, possibly through an online message forum. The extrovert will appreciate the ongoing connection to the group and the introvert can take his time to process internally, then communicate at his leisure.

 How can you tell if a mastermind group member is an introvert or an extrovert?

It’s not possible to pigeon-hole someone and label them as “all introvert” or “all extrovert,” but there are tendencies to one side or the other that you can (and should) pay attention to:

  • an introvert makes more and sustained eye contact
  • an extrovert will appear energized by being in the group situation
  • an introvert will appear to think before they speak
  • an extrovert jumps right into the conversation and thinks while they speak
  • an introvert may disappear during coffee breaks, or talk deeply with one person
  • an extrovert will enjoy talking to 3 or 4 people in a group during coffee breaks
  • an introvert may seem shy around the group in the beginning, until he gets to know everyone better
  • an extrovert will interact with everyone in the group, even in the beginning, because she loves to meet new people

As a mastermind group facilitator, being aware of these two personality types and giving each what they need will foster a tight, powerful group.

When Is It Time to Leave Your Mastermind Group?

There comes a time in every life when transition and transformation become inevitable. So, too, with your membership in your mastermind group.

Here’s what I say in my class about why people leave a group (and when to know it’s time):

  • You find that you are not excited about going to meetings…or worse, you dread going
  • You find that you cannot trust some of the members of the group
  • You find that you cannot be completely authentic in the group
  • You find that your brainstorming needs are not being met in the group (you’ve outgrown them)
  • You find that your goals have changed and this group is no longer the right group for you
  • You find that the group is not holding you accountable (they’re letting you slide)
  • You find that you don’t want to participate in discussions when someone else is on the Hot Seat
  • You have nothing more to mastermind about, and you don’t want to be on the Hot Seat
  • You resist setting action plans or making goals
  • You have achieved success and don’t feel you need the same level of support that you needed earlier in your life/business
  • You simply want a break from masterminding

There’s nothing wrong with wanting a break from your mastermind group. Once you know that being part of a mastermind group no longer suits your needs, talk to the group about it and exit gracefully.

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